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Thursday, October 07, 2004
Blu-Ray Group To Set Smaller DVD Format

An international group that develops and promotes the Blu- ray Disc format - one of two rival next-generation DVD formats - is planning to create a smaller disc format for use in camcorders.

The Blu-ray Disc Association, whose core members include Sony Corp. and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., plans to establish an 8- centimeter Blu-ray DVD format, a Sony spokeswoman said Thursday.

"But we haven't determined a detailed plan," she said.

The Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported Thursday that firms supporting the Blu-ray Disc format plan to introduce such camcorders as early as 2005.

The regular size of normal DVDs is 12cm.

The move comes amid a raging battle over which high-definition format will lead the next generation of DVDs.

Toshiba Corp. and NEC Corp. are promoting a different next-generation optical disc format that they jointly developed, called HD ( high-definition) DVDs. A Toshiba spokesman said the HD DVD group currently has no plan to create a format for 8cm DVDs.

Japanese consumer electronics makers such as Sony and Hitachi Ltd. are already marketing digital camcorders that use the current generation of smaller DVDs as a recording medium. Many more digital video cameras now on the market use mini digital video cassette tapes.

Using Blu-ray DVD high-definition digital camcorders would make it easier for users to play recorded data on home-use Blu-ray DVD player equipment that companies such as Sony plan to introduce in late 2005.

The Sony spokeswoman said the company will launch a Blu-ray DVD camcorder model after the format is set, but that no specific plan has been fixed yet.

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